Electra, Texas

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Electra is a city in Wichita County, Texas, United States. It is part of the Wichita Falls, Texas Metropolitan Statistical Area. The United States Census Bureau counted Electra's population as 3,168 at the 2000 census and estimated it to be 2,891 as of 2006.[3] Electra claims the title of Pump Jack Capital of Texas, a title made official by the state in 2001,[4] and has celebrated an annual Pump Jack Festival since 2002.[5]

Contents

History

Daniel Waggoner started a ranch in present-day Electra in 1852. Around thirty years later, the Fort Worth and Denver City Railway was built, and its railroad tracks ran through the area. In 1885, Waggoner's son, W.T. Waggoner, successfully lobbied railroad executives to build a railroad station at the site. By this time, the Waggoner ranch covered a half-million acres. Up until this time, the town was called Waggoner, but following the building of the station and a post office in 1889, it was dubbed Beaver Switch, after the nearby Beaver Creek. The opening of 56,000 acres (230 km2) of land north of the railroad station brought more farmers to the area. The town was renamed again in 1907, this time after Waggoner's daughter Electra.

Water can be scarce in this region of Texas, so Waggoner started drilling for water for the towns new residents. Most of these drilling sites were befouled by crude oil, which made the water unfit for drinking. Three years later, a developer from Fort Worth named Solomon Williams bought the land from Waggoner. Sooner thereafter, he annexed nearby land, subdivided the land, and placed advertisements in national media trying to increase the population. His efforts were successful, and the town grew from a population of 500 to 1,000 between 1907 and 1910. In 1911, the Electra Independent School District was created.

A fateful day in Electra's history was April 1, 1911, when the Clayco gusher successfully drilled for oil. Word spread quickly and the population increased fourfold over a period of months. Fortunately there was already some infrastructure built in the town to handle the new residents.

While in 1936, Electra had well over 6,000 residents, by the 1960s the population had decreased to a bit over 5,000. The Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area was growing and many people moved away. By 2000, Electra's population dropped to just over 3,000.

The Waggoner family, still today, owns much of the same land they did in the beginning and still drill for oil in those parts.

Geography

Electra is located at 34°1′51″N 98°55′2″W / 34.03083°N 98.91722°W / 34.03083; -98.91722 (34.030809, -98.917281)[6].

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